|Reviews for Mesmer|
| alltheeagles chapter 15 . 9/11
Ah, so THAT's how Marcus became optio? I like this explanation very much! I also won't pretend that I liked that he didn't do anything with Leia beyond play that game, despite what I gamely said about wanting to read about Marcus in an awkward situation. I dunno, I guess I'm being a snob too, in that I don't want Marcus to have any trysts for no other reason that he's the leading man.
| alltheeagles chapter 14 . 8/27
I'm happy about this turn of events, generally speaking. As I've mentioned before, I hate reading about angry people, and boy were the lot of them angry. So I'm looking forward to a little comic relief if there's any coming - Marcus being awkward with a lady should be fun to read about! As for would I be mad if he actually used the services in a brothel, well, no, not really. Phyllis is much too young for him to take things any further right now, and they've never made any kind of commitment to each other so he's doing nothing wrong. I just hope he uses protection (that'd be... goat skin? Ewww.)
| alltheeagles chapter 13 . 8/13
It was definitely a talky chapter. Which I can take, generally, if the dialogue is good. And in this case, it was, just that (nitpicky point) your punctuation could be spruced up a little. Still, maybe you could have added in a little more description of what the other people in the room were doing while Marcus and Phyllis were yelling at each other.
Phyllis at the end of the previous chapter was in a contrite mood but here she's positively angry at Marcus, so what happened in between to change her mind? Marcus was more consistent, but yeah, he didn't do the 'I thought we're friends' thing, just 'WTH were you thinking, do you realise what you've done (to me)?' I'm on his side, incidentally. I could totally smack Phyllis right now.
| alltheeagles chapter 12 . 8/11
For a moment there I thought Marcus was going to make a run for it and become a fugitive. But nah, then there would have to be a longgggggggg detour before we get back to Marcus and Phyllis in Cornelis, even if it might make a mighty good yarn.
Interestingly, Marcus had no thoughts against Phyllis in his bit of the narrative, whereas Phyllis was all about damage control for what she'd done to him. Well, I'd thought there'd be a bit more angst on his part (oh phyllis how could you i thought we were friends) and maybe a bit of defiance on hers (those stupid romans, they're ruining my life!)
| alltheeagles chapter 11 . 8/7
Yep, this is definitely not a bright and happy chapter. If I hadn't read Cornelis, I'd be suspecting some outside power to have taken Phyllis over because this is so greatly at odds with the sunny and essentially 'good' nature she's been portrayed as having so far, even if she's also shown to have negative traits like stubbornness and disobedience. But having this knowledge, I see instead how you're introducing her dark streak. And you decided to do so in a very dramatic and abrupt manner, and what the heck, throw in her friend as the innocent bystander. Whew... it never rains but it pours, huh?
| alltheeagles chapter 10 . 8/6
The Phyllis of Mesmer is a cheery, albeit wild, little thing and she's fun to read, particularly her witty exchanges. It'd be interesting to see how you develop her character into the darker one in Cornelis. As for Phylip, he got fleshed out nicely in this chapter so he isn't just the stereotypical nerdy classmate anymore. Is it even possible to learn to be a druid by studying alone? How about the practical part? And who's going to give him the equivalent of the druid entrance exam? I thought the Romans wiped out all the druids and outlawed the whole religion, actually.
| alltheeagles chapter 9 . 7/25
I have to keep reminding myself that Marcus doesn't know Phyllis that well yet when I come to this story cause I've come to think of them almost like an old married couple in Cornelis. I suppose one could read a whole lot of symbolism into the bridle, on Marcus unconsciously wanting to figuratively tame Phyllis, but I'm going to just take it at face value. So the choice of gift was perfect and I'd love Marcus to be my personal shopper too. :D
| alltheeagles chapter 8 . 7/8
Marcus is much more relaxed here, is my first impression. the last time I met him he'd been in a fight with Cornelis and he was a bit grumpy. But then that's another story so I shouldn't be mixing scenarios. Well we get introduced to some more new characters. I think I might need a cheat sheet soon to keep track of who's who, especialy since I'm trying to read two ongoing stories at the same time. Anyway, the main characters are true to themselves - Phyllis running into armour and getting stuck had me laughing out loud!
| alltheeagles chapter 7 . 6/18
Who said your writing is short on descriptions? There was a tonne here! I think you did a fantastic job on making the buildings come alive because I don't usually pay attention to buildings, but you managed to make Mesmer and even the Castra stand out to me, almost as if they were characters in their own right. I felt immersed in this world, like I want to explore it together with Marcus. I liked as well how you hinted at the 'problem' of Phyllis' budding charms, and how you managed to treat the matter with delicacy rather than crude directness.
Typos: for him not TO see it, commented ON the sight, hanging OFF it
| alltheeagles chapter 6 . 6/4
Phyllis is very much the tomboy here, but I get the impression she gets more ladylike as she grows older. I can't wait to 'meet' Mesmer, it sounds like a most magical place, pun intended! On the historical bit, did the Romans really try to get along with the Gauls like this, I mean to the extent of Roman and Gaul gods side by side? My only impression of Emperor Augustus is that he was a Christian. Or is that another Augustus?
| alltheeagles chapter 5 . 5/30
Oooohhhhh, somebody has a Troubled Past. Well ok I don't know that it's troubled exactly but a plague and a dead mom sounds plenty trouble. I think I'm going to read Cornelis now or I'd be killed by curiosity about what happens to Marcus.
I like both Roman and Gaul culture, incidentally. One represents order (and angsty Hard Decisions full of struggling between duty and feelings) and the other freedom (and mystical Spiritual Dilemmas). Marcus and Phyllis seem to be archetypical of the two cultures so far.
| alltheeagles chapter 4 . 5/30
Fighting scenes are not my strong point, or favourite thing to read about, but I like how you wrote this training scene cleanly. I'd like to see the same clarity if you have full scale fights or even skirmishes down the line, because I find trying to figure out complicated fight scenes rather tiresome. So I usually skip them... :P The way you write about the horse shows that you know a thing or two about them, unlike me!
| alltheeagles chapter 3 . 5/28
Loved the interaction between them! The 'can appear fast' bit had me cracking up. And the way you slip in background information is very smooth as well, eg about Marcus' background. Your characters are a very strong asset, and by introducing the historical facts through their interaction with their world and with each other, you prevent this from becoming a boring read. Good job!
| alltheeagles chapter 2 . 5/27
The way you matter-of-factly blend in Phyllis' healing powers is very natural. I like that better than if you made a big deal out of it, eg with 'chosen one' angst. It makes the power more believable, I think. Still enjoying the history vibes - reminds me of all the Rosemary Sutcliff I've read.
| alltheeagles chapter 1 . 5/27
I like historical fiction and I was looking forward to this read - I wasn't disappointed. You've set up a very interesting set of characters and whetted my curiosity enough that I want to read on to find out what they do. You're right, you're a little short on the descriptions and background, and I have a similar problem, I'm told. Well, I've been working on that and improved somewhat, so don't worry you'll evolve over time too.